Best Athletes The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Only defense players, no mid-fielders. Please rank the players based on their on-field accomplishments

The best soccer players of all time aren't always the ones right in the action, sometimes all it takes is a step back and a bit of appreciation to realize that the grunts who are defending the goal are the best. These best football defenders (as they're called everywhere besides the US) are in the ranks of the best athletes in the world, and have earned their spots by being the best footballers in the world.

What are the qualities of the best defenders in soccer? These men are equal parts the best defense men in soccer, the top players in soccer, and the best conditioned athletes in the sport of soccer. To truly be the greatest, defenders must be quick runners and possess the ability to kick the ball FAR, all the way to the other side of the field. Defensive soccer players must also have a mastery of fancy footwork - lest they let an offensive player weave past them. All these factors and more combine to determine who should be called the best defenders in soccer.

Who are the best soccer defenders of all time? Who are the top defenders in soccer? Who are the best football defenders of all time? SO MANY QUESTIONS, all which need to be answered in this compilation of the top soccer defenders ever. If your favorite soccer player in the position of defender isn't on the list, make sure to add them so others can vote for them as the best football defender ever. If you don't add them, they won't get any play.
list ordered by

1
5,197 931
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

2
2,460 1,162
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

3
3,001 978
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper

4
2,486 879
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

5
1,823 780
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

6
626 821
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

7
433 688
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

8
870 627
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

9
1,118 746
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

10
770 538
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

11
309 280
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

12
2,139 961
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

13
578 506
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

14
364 462
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

15
444 451
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

16
522 423
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

17
2,445 1,027
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

18
317 409
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

19
1,953 901
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

20
280 289
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

21
191 220
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

22
612 280
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
veterancw added Defender

23
348 342
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

24
257 258
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
MariusCeasuri added Defender

25
1,610 690
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

26
747 431
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

27
1,954 1,278
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

28
312 285
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

29
165 195
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

30
262 213
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

31
202 191
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

32
157 179
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
lendomacondenorz added

33
1,307 799
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

34
168 222
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

35
222 124
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

36
474 287
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

37
297 237
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added Defender

38
177 91
Mauro Tassotti is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
berteds added Defender

39
931 557
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

40
646 429
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

41
311 265
Claudio Gentile is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

42
378 261
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

43
215 177
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

44
140 178
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

45
724 683
Gerard Piqué is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

46
700 640
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

47
259 210
Aldair is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

48
151 185
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

49
111 166
Karlheinz Förster is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

50
662 521
Jaap Stam is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender